Pepsi-Cola press release "Toledo, The Newcomer":
An illustrated new story recently published in the Toledo, Ohio blade contains this sentence “Pepsi is not a newcomer to Toledo”.
Within that sufficient statement, accurate at first reading, hides and arresting . Pepsi-Cola is by no means a newcomer to the hustling industrial town with the magical name, it is nevertheless newly come to Toledo, having arrived there with a new image, a thrust as strong and keen as the name of the newspaper itself and, like it, found in history and tempered in modernity.
The history Pepsi-Cola was established in Toledo in 1952, the franchise having been purchased and subsequently open to Pepsi distribution and sales by owners Aaron Liebenthal and the late Philip Miller. And 1966 RKO general which, is an ongoing program of corporate diversification had added several Pepsi-Cola operations, purchased the Toledo Pepsi-Cola enterprise.
It then announced an immediate decision to build the most modern of manufacturing plants in Toledo to purvey Pepsi-Cola products to the four-and-one half county market.
Drawn into this decision was the city of Toledo itself, which then issued its first city sponsored industrial bonds 2.5 million of them – an issue sold under state legislation for promoting development and jobs.
Accordingly, the Toledo's Arco Industrial Park , Pepsi-Colas home and image came newly into being, founded solidly on the products’ steady growth of the past , but displayed a profile as attuned to the future as a Mars shot.
The spacious 110,000 square foot plant RKO General constructed on a 12 ½ acres , handsomely landscaped site is fashioned of brown and white brick.
It houses a full complement of automatic equipment capable of producing 5 million cases of Pepsi-Cola Company products annually.
At present, to serve the highly industrial area (national manufacturers represented include Owen Illinois , Champion Spark Plug, Toledo scale, Chevrolet, Dana Corp, Kaiser Jeep) in Metropolitan Toledo (population approximately 400,000) and the sprawling rural communities within the territory (total population approximately 225,000) the Toledo organization offers Pepsi-Cola in 32, 16, 12 and 8 ounce returnables and 10 ounce one-ways, Mountain Dew in 10 ounce returnables, with 10 ounce one-way package coming up, and patio flavors root beer, grapefruit, orange, strawberry and grape in 8 ounce returnables.
At present, Teem is available in cans only. In addition, all other products - with the exception of patio grapefruit are offered in cans, furnished by the Woodlawn Canners, Inc, Co-op in Cincinnati.
In September 27, however, the shining new Toledo plant, capable of such variety of production, was bottling nothing but returnable 16 ounce Pepsi-Cola. And for very best of reasons.
For on that day, all the panning and designing and adjusting and redesigning can to fruition, and RKO Bottlers’ of Toledo, Inc, received that has come to be known in the trade as a “Class A” Plant Opening Celebration.
On hand to make it so, were among others: Pepsi-Cola Company Chairman of the Board Herbert L. Barnet; Director Joan Crawford; Executive VP William Newman; Public Affairs VP Mitchell Cox; Central Division VP Wally Henry; Cincinatti Regional Manager Bob Snay; scme 20 Pepsi-Cola Bottlers from four states; RKO General President John Poor; the Mayor of Toledo William Ensign; and a large assortment of prominent civic and political leaders, both state and local.
Some highlights of the events which led up to opening Day:
“Dealer Day” for 3,000 area dealers and their families, during which guests toured the plant and received door and drawing prizes.
An employee dinner for 550 employees and their families. Held at the plant, the gala evening featured a catered dinner, entertainment, a prize raffle and commemorative favors for everyone.
A press conference in the Commodore Perry Hotel, at with Bottler James Snyder, Miss Crawford, Mr. Barnet, and Mr. Newman starred. Arranged by Central Division PR man Mike Berger, the conference drew a fine turnout of media representatives from three television stations, four radio stations and the Toledo Times and the Toledo Blade.
A celebration banquet, held in horror of Bottler Synder, and attended by some 500 leading Toledans, visitors from other communities and Pepsi-Cola Bottlers – all of whom heard a brief address by Mr. Newman, during which he praised the Toledo management for possessing what he described as “the most important ingredient: An intimate, practical knowledge of the soft-drink business.”
Mr. Newman also presented Mr. Synder with the New Plant Plaque, and Miss Crawford and Mr. Barnet presented him with a clock-barometer for his office.
When the Great Day itself dawned – a day that had been announced through special radio and TV tags for one week prior to the open house, and through newspaper ads and truck banners carried on the Toledo organization’s 60-truck fleet – the unthinkable happened: It rained. And rained.
Nothing daunted, the principals in ceremony calmly followed the “rain plan.” The entire shebang was moved into the plant, the Woodward high School Band played bravely and RKO General Bottlers of Toledo, Inc had themselves a plant that was “officially” open. And, equally undaunted – from morning until late afternoon when the sun finally came out – some 30,000 visitors jammed through the new facility, meeting Miss Crawford, tasting Pepsi-Cola, getting door prizes and favors and, for an especially lucky few, drawing prizes of, among other things, radios, TV sets, picnic coolers and Pepsi-Cola.